Snowshoes, sunlight and tree shadows.
Real winter finally came to southeast Utah this season. There had been a number of beautiful snows up until recently, but not much more than seeing the mountains brightened up again each time, with a couple inches down in town.
That changed late this month, with several back to back storms that as usual came from the west or southwest and kept on truckin’ into western Colorado.
Atlas snowshoes, fresh out of the shipping carton from REI.
My trout fishing lake had finally frozen over, and snowed over the ice as well.
The problem with the dead of winter is how to exercise. Oh, the runners keep running out there. And the people who work out at gyms keep on the treadmills and the weight machines.
Gambel Oak shadows on a January afternoon at 7,000 feet.
But what is a mountain man to do when the snow is deep? walking to the Post Office and back each day doesn’t count for much. Though it’s better than nothing.
Snowshoes. Like trout fishing it had been many years, but perhaps another facet of my life was coming full circle.
Overlooking frozen Loyd’s Lake in January.
I went to REI and there were a pair of modern snowshoes on sale for just $40. End of the season, you know.
They arrived last week and I’ve been out twice. I avoid the weekends when there are snowmobilers, cross country skiers, and other winter sport enthusiasts flying about. I prefer to be the only human breaking the silence of the woods, if possible. And it’s possible.
Snowshoeing near Loyd’s Lake, with the Abajo Mountains in the distance.
The advantage to snowshoeing is that you don’t need to have the skill of being on skinny skies like you do with cross country skiiing. Which I have done, and loved, but chose not to get back into at this time. With snowshoes, you can plod along even over deep unbroken snow. Rest when you want, even facing downhill or uphill. You may not get to enjoy the thrill of sliding along and whooshing back downgrade, but anybody can use snowshoes. There is something to be said for going slower.
Photo location: Manti-La Sal National Forest, near Monticello, southeast Utah.
See much more of my photography on my website at NaturalMoment.com.
© Copyright 2017 Stephen J. Krieg